Historical Society of Penney Farms

Historical Society of Penney Farms

The Historical Society of Penney Farms collects, preserves, researches, and interprets the history of Penney Farms. Our collections are held in trust for the use and education of the public.  They are primarily composed of documentary and archival materials with a focus on J.C. Penney, the community, its people, places, and events. Information at the TOWN OF PENNY FARMS HISTORIC MUSEUM is available through publications, programs, and exhibits.

Penney Farms Historical Photo
Education

Education

Research

Research

Penney Farms

History

Welcome To Historical Society of Penney Farms

Our Mission

The Historical Society of Penney Farms was organized to educate the community about the rich and dynamic history of Penney Farms, which was founded in 1926. The society collects, preserves and displays printed materials of historical value and facilitates educational and historical events. The Historical Society of Penney Farms is a 501(c)(3) organization.

Educating our community

In 1926, department store pioneer J. C. Penney founded the community of Penney Farms. He planned to develop an experimental farming village. The state of Florida incorporated the town in 1927. The real estate decline and stock market crash caused Penney to scale back his ambitions to a community for retired ministers in honor of his father.

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Get In Touch

We’d love to hear from you!

Whether you have a question about the Historical Society of Penney Farms or the Town of Penney Farms Historic Museum  we are ready to answer all your questions. Contact Historical Society of Penney Farms.

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WHAT MAKES PENNEY FARMS SPECIAL

Legacy

In 2027 the Town of Penney Farms will mark its 100th anniversary and the “Golden Rule” foundation is what makes it special.

Size

Penney Farms is a rural township in N. E. Florida along the lovely tree canopied State Road 16.  

With a population of nearly 900, of which over 500 are residents of Penney Retirement Community, the town has a unique and remarkably interesting history. 

History

In 1922 one hundred and twenty thousand acres of unincorporated land was purchased by James Cash Penney, owner of the Golden Rule Stores later known as J. C. Penney Stores. His vision was to develop an experimental farming community and a utopian village on this land.

Couples who were qualified got 40 acres of land per family to clear, till, plant crops and raise livestock.  After two years of farming, that land would become their land to keep.  Associates of Mr. Penney provided training for these new Florida homesteaders.  

Additionally, Mr. Penney built the Memorial Home, in honor of his minister father, for other ministers and people in the Lord’s service who retired with few financial resources.  

Penney Farms Today

The homesteaded farms are now gone but former youngsters, now seniors, and descendants from those days, anxious to preserve and share their stories, still live in Penney Farms and the surrounding area.

Located on the Penney Farms Scenic Highway, the location is ideal to attract visitors and share the “Golden Rule” legacy: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Penney Farms Historical Photo
Town of Penney Farms - Historic Museum logo

 

Historic Museum

NOW OPEN

Please Come see what the newest addition to Clay County, Florida Historic Tourism has to offer.

Located in the old Penney Farms Volunteer Fire Department building at 4100 Clark Ave., Penney Farms, Florida 32079

Regular Museum hours are:

9 AM – 1 PM Monday thru Friday

2 PM – 4 PM Second and Fourth Sundays

2 PM – 3:30 PM Second and Fourth Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday

For information please call during regular hours (904) 742-1344.

 

Get Involved

Your support helps us continue to preserve the rich history of Penney Farms for future generations and provide fun and educational programs to the community. As a member you receive the benefits of museum exhibits and activities, historical photographs and archives, and more importantly, you will be proud to know you support our mission to keep our history alive, preserved, and treasured by all.

Penney Farms

Historical Society of Penney Farms

Historical Society of Penney Farms Background

Elected Officers

Historical Society of Penney Farms 2023-2024

President – Mark Davies
VP – vacant
Secretary – Pat Sickles Garlinghouse
Treasurer – Linda Kocourek

Advisory Board: Cathie Parrott, John Bowles, Town of Penney Farms City Manager and Staff

Historical Society of Penney Farms Logo

Address

4100 Clark Avenue, P.O. Box 1041
Penney Farms, Florida 32079
Get Directions

Museum Hours

9 AM – 1 PM Monday thru Friday

2 PM – 4 PM Second and Fourth Sundays

2 PM – 3:30 PM Second and Fourth Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday

Contact Historical Society

Email:

Phone: (904) 742-1344

 

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